Circa 1920 Art - Apollo Interpretive Wurlitzer player grand. Located in Memphis, TN. This instrument is for display only and not for sale.
These player pianos were also referred to as reproducers. Reproducing player pianos used an electric suction pump and an expression control device.
Standard players used manual foot pedals. Reproducing players were introduced shortly after 1900 by the Welte Co. in Germany. This system was an important development for the player piano business partly because at first only uprights could be equipped with player mechanisms.
Now, grand pianos could be equiped with a device that can reproduce the expression of the pianist. This was an exciting achievement.
An exception was the push up style mechanisms. Although these never were as popular or as practical as player units that were installed inside uprights and underneath grands.
The player piano industry flourished from around turn of the century 1900 until the mid to late 1920's. The great depression nearly killed the player industry, which did rebound after WW11, but not as great as it once had been in the early twentieth century.
Very few, if any, of these old style players are being made today. The Ivers & Pond Piano company that used to be in Memphis, Tn stopped building players in the 1980's.
Nowadays digital electronic devices are used in the new player pianos, and only in grands. They use a cd to play the music instead of a piano roll
The tray that held the piano rolls on some reproducing grand pianos pulled out from under the keyboard.
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